Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Marriage Battle

I once read that all weddings are happy. It’s the living together afterwards that causes all the trouble. I often feel as if my marriage has parachuted into the middle of enemy territory taking sniper fire from all sides. Other times it seems as if I am married to the enemy! Sometimes I am the enemy!

I had a co-worker tell me this week that it might be time for this marriage to end, like it was that easy. That really bothered me. I know, this world is not the friend of marriage. I was raised in a single parent home. But God is a friend of marriage; it was His idea! I know that we want a great marriages but we may feel as if the relationship has endured too much pain, that there is no hope. No matter where I am or where we've been in marriage, I belive the rest of our marriage can be the best part. Nothing is Impossible with God!

I have only been married for 6 years. And I can tell you, it's hard work. I'm not sure that we'd be at the place we are now without the supernatural work of God and certainly not without many tears, great pain and plain old hard work. Even before I met Billy I began learning truths about about marriage from watching others around me, but choosing commitment over comfort everyday is at the top of the list!

Truth: When the going gets tough, the tough stay right where they are!

A successful marriage requires commitment. The Spanish explorer, Cortes, insisted on total commitment from his men. They landed in Mexico planning to invade the land of the Aztecs. Sensing the fear of his crew Cortes gathered them all on shore and set fire to their ships. Turning to his men, Cortes explained, “Now there can be no turning back!” Marriage demands this level of commitment.

As much as I struggle with this I know this commitment also includes being submissive to your husband. Submission is a Godly heart attitude of reverence and respect; not the warped concept touted by the world. Are wives supposed to be silent partners, willing to follow blindly? Absolutely not! We are equal partners in the marriage relationship, sharing our hearts, using our talents and abilities while trusting God to work through our husband. Submission is the result of total faith in God. I was told one that the level of submission to our husband illustrates our level of submission to God. Will husbands make mistakes? Of course! But can God work through them? Yes! Submission then becomes a precious umbrella of protection and safety.

It seems that we live in a world of pre-packaged, disposable marriages. If it doesn’t work, we can simply throw the relationship away and find another! Some even start as recycled material. The result is pain and destruction that takes years of commitment and prayer to overcome. Commitment is not based upon changing, temporal feelings; feelings cannot build a solid marriage. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that love is the basis for marriage. It does say however, that marriage is the basis for love.

If you are hanging on in midst of a tough marriage let me encourage you that God is well aware of where you are! Someone once asked Napoleon to explain his bitter defeat at Waterloo. He responded, “The British didn’t win because they were better trained, larger or more equipped. They won because they fought five minutes longer!”

I sometimes wonder what battles we have lost because we gave up just a little too soon! Hold on! Hold on to your commitment to God and to your marriage! Because in marriages that really work, when the going gets tough, the tough stay right where they are!

When I was in junior high our youth pastors wife asked us to make a list of qualities that we wanted in a spouse. I thought it was corny, but as I grew in the Lord, I added to it, but never took anything off. And sometimes I get that list out to remind myself about the qualities that attracted me to Billy in the first place - and then I thank God for those traits in my husband. Now I'm going to go find Billy and thank him too.
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